Economics & Investing For Preppers

Here are the latest news items and commentary on current economics news, market trends, stocks, investing opportunities, and the precious metals markets. We also cover hedges, derivatives, and obscura. Most of these items are from the “tangibles heavy” contrarian perspective of SurvivalBlog’s Founder and Senior Editor, JWR. Today, we look at the recent gold peak. (See the Precious Metals section.)

Precious Metals:

Explosion in Coronavirus Cases Sends Gold to 10-Day High. Here are the article’s opening bullet points:

  • “Gold peaked at $1,518.70/oz. Thursday and is on track for its highest settlement in ten days.
  • Alarmed by the recent spike in coronavirus infections, investors piled into bullion and other haven assets to mitigate risk.
  • U.S. consumer-price growth was muted in January but above trend compared with a year ago.”

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H.L. sent us this: China’s Gold Market Not Immune to a Wider Downturn

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Turkish Mint Outpaces U.S. Mint

Economy & Finance:

At Zero Hedge: Powell Admits “Low Rates Are Not A Choice Any More”, Says QE Will Be Used In Next Downturn

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U.S. companies cut back on installing robots in 2019

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At Wolf Street: HELOC Balances Plunge to 15-Year Low. What’s Going on Here?


Subprime Auto Loans Explode, “Serious Delinquencies” Spike to Record. But There’s No Jobs Crisis, These Are the Good Times


Markets weaker as changes in coronavirus data cause more uncertainty

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OilPrice News reports: Green Hydrogen Is Right Around The Corner

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Oil Traders Could Lose Big On Coronavirus Panic

Forex & Cryptos:

US Dollar Price Analysis: Most Overbought Since August 2018

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British Pound (GBP) Latest: Edging Ahead, 1.30 and Above in Sight for GBP/USD

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Pro-Crypto Federal Reserve Nominee Grilled Ahead of Senate Vote

Tangibles Investing:

I’m pleased to announce that a dozen of the pre-1899 antique guns that I had listed as “arriving soon” have indeed arrived and are now available at Elk Creek Company. These include:  Two 6.5×55 Swedish Mauser carbines, two Chilean (Ludwig Loewe) Mauser sporters, a truly minty Valmet M39 Finnish Mosin-Nagant on a Czarist era receiver, a minty Swiss M1896/11 Schmidt-Rubin target rifle, a takedown Winchester Model 1894 .30-30, a Remington #4 Rolling Block Takedown .22 Long Rifle, a Remington Rolling Block 20 gauge conversion, a L.C. Smith Model O in 12 gauge, and a rare 1896-dated Lee-Enfield cavalry carbine. Be sure to get your order in before my planned tour in the month of March, when I go gather more inventory.  (During my travel hiatus, I won’t be shipping any orders.)


SurvivalBlog and its Editors are not paid investment counselors or advisers. Please see our Provisos page for our detailed disclaimers.

News Tips:

Please send your economics and investing news tips to JWR. (Either via e-mail of via our Contact form.) These are often especially relevant, because they come from folks who closely watch specific markets. If you spot any news that would be of interest to SurvivalBlog readers, then please send it in. News from local news outlets that is missed by the news wire services is especially appreciated. And it need not be only about commodities and precious metals. Thanks!


  1. “HELOC Balances Plunge to 15-Year Low. What’s Going on Here? ”

    Probably a lot of homeowners have figured it out.
    From the same linked article, see: “Many homeowners have paid off their mortgages and own their homes free and clear,,” and “Cash-out refis have become popular again” and “a default on the HELOC can trigger a foreclosure.”

    If there’s no mortgage, there’s no big lump of deductible mortgage interest, so the interest from a HELOC won’t cross the new minimum threshold for itemizing, plus the new $10K limit on SALT (State And Local Tax) deductibility also impacts itemizing with the new thresholds. Coupled with risking the house in a HELOC default, paying SOME interest on a credit card or home center finance arrangement poses less overall risk because those are unsecured “personal” loan arrangements. Yes, not paying will trash your credit rating, and credit card companies will go after any and all assets in an attempt to recover what they’re owed, but your house is at the very bottom of the list, and protected (to a large degree but not completely) in bankruptcy filings.

    The “cash out refinances” are interesting; should the economy go completely into the dumpster I can foresee some taking 100% refinancing and just walking away from the house. 2020 might be far enough away from 2008 for some lenders to have become stupid again.

    1. Be cautious about HELOCs. On default these may convert to something more like personal debt, and remain attached to the debtor even after foreclosure — HEAVEN FORBID conditions are so difficult, and this happens. If you own your home without the encumbrance of debt, try to keep it that way.

  2. Well, the permian basin near midland texas is slowing way down. The rent signs are all up again and for sale signs are in the yards once again. Sensed it coming last spring and planned for it. Don’t go moving there for the big bucks. Too late. But just wait, it will come back. The thing I have noticed over a long period of time is, the booms come still but don’t last long, like maybe for 2 years. Then the bust come. Now they don’t last as long as they use too either. The cycle use to be for 8-10 years are more like 2-3 years. Well, when your looking to retire you better get ready to jump either way. We paid our dues for 45 years and now we are putting our talents elsewhere. What a ride. I say you have either 8 months left or 4 years. Plan accordingly. Happy Trails

  3. A passage that will no doubt resonate with many Survival Blog readers…

    “Refusing to examine the dark side of life and its dangers has become a staple of our society, to the point that it has given birth to a kind of religious cult. Naive optimism has become a virtue, a misplaced form of faith that encourages people to remain oblivious in the face of adversity. And the more precarious our system becomes, the more these people see unicorns and rainbows. It is truly bizarre.”

    …and the rest of the article is well worth reading too.

    1. Refusing to see the ugly is prevalent everywhere.

      You watch a wildlife documentary and they only show the predator with a bloody muzzle or even only it’s failed attempts…

      You talk survival and it’s frowned upon to be impolite or talk about the very real possibility that you might have to club some one to death with a can of peaches … And then feed your child or self with that same can of peaches.

      It has become the norm to say I will defend my life in any way I need and leave it at that.

      It’s become very inappropriate to talk about how much effort is required to kill some one.

      I knew an old timer who once told me that drowning a kitten requires you to count the bubbles to the 13th bubble (apparently there was a huge problem for a while with feral cats passing illness and killing small live stock)…. And apparently 13 bubbles was the total lung capacity of said kittens.

      There is alot of ugly truths out there that have had a blind eye turned towards them

      Some survival topics are taboo from this even
      Rape gangs, slavery, long pork to name a few.

      And they should be spoken of and prepared for.

      1. It is not possible to defeat evil unless one is prepared to face it, and therein lies the problem today. Most people are unwilling or unable to face real darkness.

  4. Regarding the Wuhan Coronavirus:
    The Director of the CDC Robert Redfield said: “We don’t know a lot about this virus,…This virus is probably with us beyond this season, beyond this year, and I think eventually the virus will find a foothold and we will get community-based transmission. … Right now we’re in an aggressive containment mode,”

    They have it baked in. As far as the CDC is concerned clearly. This is going to be an American problem soon. The old adage of make hay while the sun shines has never been more appropriate. One of my favorites has always been that you build your Ark before it starts raining. Well, we are not in the middle of the Deluge, it is definitely sprinkling now.

    I sincerely encourage all of my fellow Preppers to get on it! Waste no time. Focus and apply yourself to doing the best that you can, while you still can. One need only look towards China to see how a country in lockdown operates. It operates very badly. Do not allow yourself to End up in that situation personally. Protect yourself and your family while You still have the opportunity to do so?

    I am not wealthy, but I have managed to set aside a small amount of gold and silver as a hedge. I will be cashing that in today and using the money from it to acquire physical Preps. That’s my path. Do what you will but I feel that I would be remiss if I did not at least mention to others my concerns and my actions. Good luck to us all.

    1. BGF… We understand and share your level of concern. The news is becoming increasingly urgent as awareness settles in (and as it’s clear to the media that more and more people realize what’s going on — and how serious it all is). We are also shoring up our physical preps. In fact, we revisited our “list” today, and continue to update and revise it. Our strategy is to work by categories with a strong focus on primary supplies.

      There was some news this evening about the possibility of a vaccine by about November and/or improved treatments, but this remains to be seen. We’re not counting on any of this.

      Remain steady. Be safe. Stay well.

  5. Just a note regarding Remington Arms. The NY factory is going on furlough from March to July. Don’t know about dates or any other plants. This may be the end for them. Even now, they have no work. Regularly sending workers home because they have no work. If you find a good price, you might want buy one, someday they may be collectable. Look for guns with a history of reliability.

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